Required Documents

To participate in CIEE Professional Exchange Programs and to enter the U.S., you will need certain documents. Some of these documents will come from CIEE or your host organization; others, like your passport, are your responsibility.

Bring the documents listed below to the U.S. with you. Be sure to keep them in a safe place at all times. When traveling, be sure they are in your carry-on bag and not your checked luggage. Also be sure to scan or make photocopies of each document in case of loss, theft, or damage. Store these copies in a different location from the originals.


DS-2019 form
This document shows you are authorized to be in the U.S. It indicates that you have the sponsorship and support of CIEE, and it must be taken to the U.S. Embassy in your home country when you apply for your J-1 visa. The document contains the dates of your program, as well as your sponsorship identification number (DS number). Please make sure that you have signed and dated the bottom of your DS-2019.

Invitation Letter
This is a letter stating that a U.S. host organization has offered to host you during a specified time frame. It is a summary of your project, and proof that you will be engaged in an approved program in the U.S. 

SEVIS receipt
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security keeps track of visitors with a system called SEVIS – the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. CIEE will pay your SEVIS Fee and mail you a copy of the SEVIS receipt that you must take with you when you go to the U.S. Embassy to get your visa.

Confirmation of insurance and insurance identification card
Make sure you keep your identification card with you at all times; you must present it to your health care provider if you seek medical treatment. Otherwise you may be charged more for the services.


Your home country is responsible for issuing your passport. If you already have a passport, you need to make sure that it’s valid for your entire trip. Please note: Before granting your J-1 visa, some U.S. Embassies require you to hold a passport that expires at least six months after the last day of your program. You can check with the U.S. Embassy in your home country about its specific policy. Once you have your passport, contact the U.S. Embassy again to schedule an interview to apply for your visa.

U.S. J-1 visa
Take your DS-2019, SEVIS receipt, and passport with you to your interview at the U.S. Embassy.

U.S. J-2 visa for dependents (if applicable)
Spouses and unmarried children under age 21 are eligible for J-2 visas. Learn more

Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record Card
The I-94 number is issued upon entrance to the United States. You may go the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s I-94 website after you have arrived to download and print a copy of your number.


Customs Declaration Form 6059B
Fill this out before you land, and give it to the customs officer. Instructions are printed on the form. You will not keep, nor do you need a copy of, this document; it is just for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s use at the airport.